Job searching is like dating – it can take some time to find ‘the one,’ it requires a certain level of patience, and you should prepare for your job search just as thoroughly as you would for the ‘big date’.
The first steps in preparing for your job search can be crucial and may play a large role in determining whether your resume will be considered. Here are three specific steps you should take before you start cruising job search websites for positions.
First: Google yourself! Yes, you heard it right! Your online profile is going to be an important factor in your job search. You can be sure that employers will search your name to see what comes up. What they find (or don’t find) may determine if you will be on their call back list. So increase privacy settings and remove unflattering content on your social media websites such as Facebook. Also, update your LinkedIn account with a professional headshot and make sure your profile includes your professional achievements.
Examine your email address. Ask yourself, does it sound professional or is it giving away any unnecessary information? For example, avoid using nick names, slang, birth year, or numbers in your email address. This will ensure your email address looks professional and can also eliminate age discrimination that could occur if you were to use years or numbers. Remember, the way you interpret your email address may be different from how an employer interprets it.
Do you have professional sounding voicemail? If possible, set up your voicemail so an employer can leave a message when they call if they are unable to reach you. Otherwise, an employer may simply move on to other candidates. Also, how does your voicemail message sound? Is their noise in the background, do you sound confident and professional? Before you record your voicemail message, write down what you want to say, keep the message concise and then record your message in a quiet space using a clear voice.
Finally, who is answering your phone and taking down messages when you are not home? Be sure to let everyone in your household know that you are job searching, especially if they have access to your phone. First impressions are big, so ask other household members to be professional when answering the phone and discuss with them the importance of taking detailed messages and getting those messages to you promptly.
Just as a first impression could cost you the second date, the same is true when it comes to the job search. These simple steps can help prepare you for the job search while leaving a positive first impression with the employer.